NRF Survey Shows Top Picks for Toys and Gifts

As three-quarters (74%) of consumers mark their calendars to shop during the upcoming five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the latest survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics shows the top items consumers are shopping for throughout the season, including the most popular toys.

“This holiday season, particularly the busy shopping days surrounding Thanksgiving, marks an important time of year for many Americans who enjoy traditions and celebrations with family and friends,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. “Retailers are stocked and ready with competitively priced products to help customers stretch their budgets and find all the items on their holiday lists.”

Top 5 Gift Categories

The NRF survey found that the top five gift categories consumers plan to give are:

  • Clothing (56%)
  • Gift Cards (44%)
  • Toys (37%)
  • Books, Video Games, and Other Media (31%)
  • Food/Candy (29%)

The top toys for boys this year include Legos, Hot Wheels and cars, and the top toys for girls include Barbie, dolls and Legos.  

NRF states that a record 28% of consumers intend to buy personal care and beauty items as gifts this holiday season, up from about one-quarter in recent years. The most popular source for gift inspiration remains online search (44%), followed by friends and family (35%), in-store (32%), and wish lists (26%).

“Social media continues to be a popular destination to find holiday gift ideas, especially among younger consumers, who are turning to TikTok and Instagram for inspiration,” Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in the release. “For those between the ages of 35 and 44, Facebook is the favored platform for gathering gift ideas.”

Gift Cards a Gift Favorite

Gift cards remain a perennial favorite for holiday shoppers. Total gift card spending is expected to reach $29.3 billion, up from $28.6 billion last year, NRF stated. Similar to last year, holiday shoppers plan to purchase between three to four gift cards and spend an average of $49.43 per card ($166.69 per person).

Restaurant gift cards are most popular (30%), followed by bank-issued gift cards (26%), department stores (26%), and coffee shops (21%).

Holiday Spending

Holiday shoppers expect to spend $875 on average on gifts, decorations, food and other key seasonal items, according to the NRF. Overall holiday spending is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022, totaling $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion. By comparison, last year holiday sales totaled $929.5 billion.